Many of us use the internet every day, whether it be at work, home or on our phones, but how safe are we?
Internet safety is vitally important as we become more and more reliant on technology, move away from cash and paper. Mohill community recently held a meeting on internet Security in Canon Donohue Hall.
Despite the reliance on the world wide web, the event did not attract many concerned people, but the information supplied was certainly useful to everyone of all ages.
Jim Fox Sligo Crime Officer outlined some of the best ways to secure your personal data:
- Internet Source - Your internet at home should be secured by a password. This protects your internet line and can help authorities investigating crime. Mr Fox advised people not to check bank details or any personal information in public areas using free wifi - as “anyone could have access to the line.”
- Anti-virus / mal ware protection is important to keep your computer safe from viruses. Mr Fox advised people who use USB keys for transferring data to other computers that they can carry viruses with them.
- Https - Most web addresses begin with Http://, but any secure line which access banking info or personal data, credit care payment info should start with Https - s stands for secure and lock symbol should appear. Mr Fox advised the public not to enter any data online without the lock symbol.
- Cookies -You can enable and disable cookies from your computer. Many websites download cookies from your computer so they can establish your interests and see what you are looking at. It is advisable to delete your cookies each time you log off the internet.
- Internet access on your mobile phones can be targeted as much as your laptop. Mr Fox did say that iPhones seem to have a smaller percentage of scams as they run on different software.
For families using internet, Mr Fox advised parents to locate the computer, internet etc in a buy area in the house. He said children should not be allowed free access and web history should be checked regularly. It was also noted that some websites can be blocked to prevent access onto them.
Cyberbullying was an issue just touched upon. He told parents to tell their teenagers not to give out any personal details.
In relation to social media, Mr Fox said sites like Facebook can be a great tool for communication, but he said “friends” should be kept to close, real friends.
Jim Fox outlined a number of scams that have been reported. One of the scams is a phone call from alleged “Microsoft” agents telling you that your Windows on your computer needs upgrading and if you would like to schedule a call from their representatives to carry out this work remotely. The call will most likely be to your home phone and they will then seek payment online from your laser or credit card. There are also scams from the Spanish lottery and from emails purporting to be from banks. These emails ask you to hit a link and enter your details. Mr Fox informed the public not to click on he link, or reply to the email but to report them.
It is not only online and you can be scammed - skimming at atm machines, shops and other services is a regular crime reported. Mr Fox showed pictures of a rigged ATM machine which had a tiny camera and car reader camouflaged. The main advice was not to let the card out of your sight and to ALWAYS cover your pin number.